The Riot Makers: The Technology of Social Demolition

The Riot Makers: The Technology of Social Demolition

The Riot Makers: The Technology of Social Demolition

The Riot Makers: The Technology of Social Demolition

Excerpt

In July 1964 New York's Harlem exploded into a fiery riot, and in quick succession six other cities erupted. In the next three summers 105 major urban riots in almost as many cities occurred. Then, in April 1968, in the ten days following Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination 125 cities erupted at once. Federal troops had to be sent into Washington, Baltimore and Chicago. In the Nation's Capital, smoke from flaming blocks blotted out the Capitol dome in broad daylight, and the acrid smell of burning buildings permeated the Supreme Court and halls of Congress. The U.S. Army set up machinegun nests on Capitol Hill and troops in battle dress patrolled the White House, as two blocks away stores burned and mobs looted.

The riot era had come home to America.

The plumes of smoke spread a tragic fallout across America: acrid, murky wrangling over causes, blame, guilt and remedies.

Almost every "cause" mentioned had a role. There was a universal tendency to try to weigh each cause too finely to suit ideological predispositions or preferences in policy conclusions. Certainly many historic and recent failures of government and private behavior contributed. In large measure, the "blame" could not justly be apportioned to anyone now living . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.